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I have used the discount hotel website, Travel Pony for several hotel reservations and all have gone off without a hitch. I have recommend them to friends and family, as well as written about them here on this site. However, I recently made a reservation through Travel Pony that didn’t go as smoothly, so I want to share that experience and what we did to fix the issue.
The reservation was made just a couple of days before a recent Hyatt stay thanks them having a lower rate than the Hyatt site + an additional $25 discount code to use on top of that. It meant that stay would likely not be a Gold Passport points eligible stay since it was prepaid via a third party website, but I was okay with that in this situation. Everything went fine with making the reservation online and there were no issues at check-in, so I thought we were golden.
However, at check-out the bill I was given showed that my credit card on file with the hotel was charged for the room. Always take the time to request a final bill from the front desk. I explained to the front desk that the reservation was a prepaid reservation made via another website and it should already be paid for. The front desk agent was very nice, but explained that they had not received payment for the room from that website so I was being charged directly instead. Huh?
I did not have the time or energy to sort out the issue there on the spot, so I just got a copy of the bill and called Travel Pony the next day. It took several minutes to get through to someone via the Travel Pony 1-877-980-1221 number, but once I did get through and explained the issue the agent was very apologetic and responsive.
I was put on hold while she called the hotel to resolve the issue. I was told that a credit would be coming back to my card from the hotel, and that the hotel would be paid by Travel Pony. I asked if I did anything wrong or if there was a way to prevent this in the future, and I was told I didn’t do anything there was just a slip-up between them and the hotel. I haven’t yet seen the charge reversed on my card, but the original charge also has not yet gone through, so for now I’m just assuming all will be worked out until proven otherwise.
This is the first time I’ve had an issue like this with Travel Pony, but it was an interesting experience. While the fault may not lie with the hotel, I’m at least a little surprised that the hotel’s approach to not being paid by a third party website for some reason is to charge the customer without a discussion instead of trying to follow-up with the company that made the reservation. Had I not asked for a bill at check out I wouldn’t have even known I was charged (again) until I hopefully caught it on my credit card statement at some point.
I still recommend Travel Pony for now as they were apologetic and responsive to the situation, but it is a good reminder to always ask for a final bill at check-out regardless of how you made your reservation.
Have you ever used Travel Pony? What was your experience?
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